Most people remember where they were when they heard the news about JFK; I do too. It was at my grandmothers kitchen table.
But as I think back, almost all of my social education happened at my grandmothers kitchen table.
I can remember my Grandmothers kitchen table as far back as I have memory. The first one was actually a 'banquette', built into the wall, like a cafe. It was painted black, and her linoleum had black and red flecks.
The next one was more 'modern' -maybe kind of like the one in the picture.
She graduated to a super swanky wooden set by the time I was in high school. It came with a china hutch. I still have the hutch.
I learned how to pray at my grandmothers kitchen table. To bow my head, lace my fingers and recite a rhyming thanks. My brother got his ears boxed at Grandma's kitchen for changing the usual "Thank you God for the World so sweet," rhyme to his Boy Scout Prayer- " Rub a dub dub, Thanks for the Grub."
There were no swear words at my Grandmothers kitchen table, no racial remarks, no off color jokes. But there was love and laughter and hope there just the same.
Turkey dinners or frank and beans were shown the same respect there.
I learned that the world was changing fast at that table, and when my Granny broke into a Sly and the Family Stone song at dinner, I was so surprised I nearly fell off my chair. Bob Dylan, Quantum Physics,men landing on the moon, Woodstock, Riots, Kent State, baseball scores, prom dresses, bad breakups, pregnancy, death, old times, politics and everything in between was discussed.
Her table was round, so we could all hear one another.
We would read the paper at that table and she would clip the obituaries, paste them on black paper and put them into a book. Everything she needed was kept on or near that table top-scissors and string and salt and pepper. In the hutch drawer she kept glue and napkins. I do the same thing today.
The times I put my arms and head down on that table to weep I couldn't even count. There was always tea and a cookie near my elbow when I looked up.
Someone else has that table now, I don't know who. But I hope that the memory of Granny and me still linger around it somehow.
And maybe someday Lil Cowboy will remember my kitchen table as fondly.